Eliza J

Why should models have all the fun? We decided each month we’d find a “real woman”–i.e., of all shapes and sizes–and give her the model treatment. In this new feature, we bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and blog editor–she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style–and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot. Meet this month’s featured guest, Kathy Loyola–a new mom who balances a busy work schedule as a content publisher at Microsoft while she and her husband raise their 13-month-old, Lexi, at home. As a petite woman who stands at 5′ 3″ (and a half!), Kathy sometimes feels frustrated not knowing how clothes seen online will look once they’re actually on her.

That’s where we step in, outfitting her in guest-of-wedding dresses to inspire looks that take the stress out of that moment just after that invitation is received. What to wear? What to wear! Read on to get to know Kathy, and see our stylist suggestions for the perfect dress (hint: it’s all about rich, beautiful color) and accessories–no matter the occasion.

MIDNIGHT SHIMMER – Evening Wedding

Wedding Guest Dress Inspiration--Evening Shimmer.Adrianna Papell sequin mesh dress

Wedding Guest Dress Inspiration--Evening Shimmer.

Stuart Weitzman ankle strap sandal | Minaudieres | Stackable rings | Crawler earrings

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On dressing for weddings: “I love that you can really dress to the nines for a wedding! For events like this, my philosophy is that it’s always better to overdress than under.

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We asked Marie Ivanoff-Smith, our Fashion Office women’s apparel director, to handpick her favorite pieces from the upcoming Anniversary Sale.

Anniversary-Sale-Fashion-Office-Picks-Iro-Jacket

IRO Ajuma chunky knit jacket

“This jacket is a great way to add textural play to your everyday look. I love the idea of dressing it down by pairing it with black or light-blue jeans.”

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It may just be Wednesday, but somehow it feels like everyone is working for the weekend! If you’re planning a festive Friday, opt to don a dark and dramatic cocktail dress. Deep, sultry hues like eggplant and black will add instant sophistication to your overall winter style statement.

Get this monochromatic glam noir look:

Xscape Ruched Stretch Satin Sheath Dress | Eliza J Faux Fur Open Bolero both exclusively at Nordstrom
Tasha Woven Wire Flower Headband | Boutique 9 ‘Colton’ Bootie | Moyna Beaded Foldover Clutch
Alexis Bittar ‘Miss Havisham – Delano’ Clip Earrings & ‘Miss Havisham – Bel Air’ Stone Ring all Nordstrom exclusives

Check out our Party Style Guide for more haute holiday fashions, shoes and accessories.

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